Schwitzer/Oransky workshop: “How to accurately report on medical research findings.”

Here are some of the examples used in the workshop, “How to accurately report on medical research findings,” at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference, April 23, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. The workshop was led by Gary Schwitzer, publisher of, and Ivan Oransky, MD, Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today.  We are posting these examples here so that journalists can visit the links during the workshop, and afterwards.

Gary’s workshop examples:

1) Journal article:  “A Clinical Study of Lupron Dept in the Treatment of Women With Alzheimer’s Disease.”  (Although we do not recommend only reading the abstract, for the sake of time in this workshop, just read the abstract.) 

2) Journal article abstract:  “Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality.”

3) Journal article:  “Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index.”

4) Journal article: “Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers.”

5) Journal article abstract: “Predicting risk of mild cognitive impairment in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.”

6) Check your evidence – check the study


Ivan’s examples


1) Press release:


Compare and contrast. Which is more useful and true to the findings?



How would you report this?


3) Press release:


Compare and contrast. Which is more useful and true to the findings? How would you report this?


Links to some resources – not perfect – but enough to get you started 

Does The Language Fit The Evidence? Association Versus Causation (observational studies)

Surrogate Markers May Not Tell The Whole Story –

Be Careful With Composites (composite endpoints) –

Mixed Messages About Statistical Significance –

Odds ratios –  Primer by Dr. Jerome Hoffman, Professor of Medicine Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine

Confidence Intervals –

Subgroup Analysis


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Comments (1)

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Ray Lewis

April 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

I recently shared your work on LinkedIn, so perhaps that would be a good location to advocate for better journalism that influences the public mind set.

“Thank you Dr Katz for continuing to point out the barriers to science based health research interpretated through the media with their own interests. One of my favorites is Gary Schwitzer at
Politics around health decision-making adds another dimension.”